Waiting.



The waiting game is still on. Earl and I received some good news today. The “transaction handler” at the real estate office called to let us know that the current house purchaser’s mortgage was approved… call the lawyers for the closing date. Well, well, well. Good news indeed. Earl placed a call with our lawyer, we hope that she’ll return the call tomorrow with some good news. It would be sweet if closing was scheduled for Nov. 13, as that would fit in with the whole 13th theme we’ve had going on our whole relationship.

We did get to walk around our new house again today. We’ve been trying to pick out furniture and such for the house, since it’s considerably bigger than our old house, but being in the house only two times, it was hard to gauge room dimensions and colors and such. So we asked our real estate agent if we could get back in there and take a look around, measure rooms and such, and surprisingly, he agreed. So tonight we got to drink in the whole house again. What a wonderful feeling! πŸ™‚ Now I’m more excited than ever to get into the house – I hope that the closing happens soon.

I am so glad that we are back on Standard Time. I’m not a big fan of Daylight Savings Time, I never have been. I know that it’s suppose to be better because then we have more daylight in the summer after work and I can go bike riding and all that, but honestly, I don’t mind it getting dark a little earlier and everything. There’s such a mystique about this time of the year – chilly winds, rustling leaves, early darkness. It all seems so magical to me.

I think I’ve been a little antsy, maybe ‘cranky’ is a better term, at work. I shouldn’t let my needless worries about moving et al reflect in my professional attitude, but alas, it does. Now that there’s been more signs of activity, I know I’ll be better.

I haven’t spoken to Earl about this, but I’m thinking about taking some online courses from the University of Illinois after the holidays. Computer science courses, so I can get certified in Unix. I’ve been promising this for a long time, and it’s high time I went ahead and did something about it! It’ll be easier to accomplish once we have the high speed internet connection that will probably be installed the first week that we are in the new house! I’ve dumped Linux in favor of FreeBSD, another derivative of Unix. I’m liking it! We stopped at Barnes and Noble so I could buy a new book – I’ve already implemented a couple of things and I’m loving it!

Earl and I relaxed and watched “The West Wing” and “Judging Amy” courtesy of TiVo tonight. My two favorite current television shows. “The West Wing” seems to be faltering just a little bit this year, which is probably due to a changing in writing team, but I think Judging Amy is going along wonderfully!

New Paths



You know, sometimes you just have to sit back and say to yourself, “It’s not that bad, I really am fortunate. Life is good.” And I’ve been doing just that. Over the past month or so I’ve been cranking around work. I’m surprised no one dropped a house on me. Yelling, ranting, carrying on. But before going to work on Monday, I decided to try something a little different for my morning meditation and visualized something new. I visualized a pitch black sky with nothing but an airplane runway below me. The runway is lit up as a runway traditionally would be, except that the lights are white, gold, purple and silver. These lights are blinking in succession away from me, lighting up the path that lies ahead. The path of inner peace. The colors of the lights represent various aspects of my spirituality – the white light of the holy spirit, the gold light of the Christ consciousness, the purple light of spirituality and the silver light of higher consciousness. These lights lead the way to inner peace. And you know what, I’ve been much calmer since I’ve began doing this meditation and I honestly CAN’T get the visualization out of my head now. I think a higher power is helping me out.

And life is good. Ever since the first time Earl and I drove on a portion of the local expressway together, I have traditionally said tapped him on the knee and said “someday this road will take us all the way home” every time we exited at the temporary end of the road. Well after a couple years of hard work from NYSDOT, the Utica-Rome Expressway was officially opened today with great fanfare. Earl, knowing what a road geek he has for a lover, suggested we drive the entire length, in both directions, so I could drink in the workmanship of the road and observe everything I could for my “road enthusiast” website. Cool part is, the new house is just off this expressway as well, just one exit closer to work.

The house is closer to reality, the mortgage company left a message last night to let us know that as far as they’re concerned, we can close on the house. We’re waiting to hear from the buyers of our current house to affirm the same and then we’ll set the closing date. Right now, it’s looking like November 13, which would be absolute kizmet for Earl and I (see this page why).

It’s true. Life is good.

Pins and Needles



Whomever said that purchasing a new home was a joyous experience was an idiot. O.k., maybe that statement is a little harsh. But for what it’s worth, it really isn’t it all it’s cracked up to be. While lawyers talk, banks tabulate, appraisers appraise and dollar signs spin, I am growing old and impatient. From what I’ve been told everything is going along splendidly. Earl assures me that we will be celebrating the holidays in the new home. I want to celebrate Halloween in the new house, but we all know that’s not going to happen. Time has screeched to a blasted halt. I am ready to move NOW! He’s betting on November 14th. Who the heck knows. Nobody has given us a date yet and our real estate agent is sitting back counting his commission. He’s handed us off to the “transaction handler”.

On a more somber note, we received word that Earl’s brother Rick was in a pretty bad motorcycle accident last weekend. He was banged up pretty good – fractured pelvis, broken wrist and arm (with six pins in it now), sprained ankle. So Saturday we headed down to Philly to visit him in the hospital. He seemed to be in pretty good spirits. I helped him out by shaving his head and face for him (he trusted me since I’m experienced in the head shaving area) and that seemed to cheer him up. He’s a determined guy and he’ll come out of the whole thing o.k…. a little wiser I suppose.

The roadgeek in me is quite excited as the new expressway is opening at the end of the week. I’ll be able to take the expressway all the way to work and cut 10 minutes of the trip in the process! Very nice.

Crazy?



Winding up another weekend is always a good time, I guess. There’s something rather dampening about the thought of going to work tomorrow morning. I’m going in with a happy thought – I’m going to bring enjoyment back to work. If others around me start chewing about this that or the other thing, I’m going to smile and point out the positive. Not only will it give everyone a cheery disposition, it will prevent me from doing to the same. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Earl and I started the weekend by trying out a local Italian place Friday night. We often drive 60 miles or more for supper on the weekend, but we decided to stay local and went to a place we’ve been eyeballing for the past couple of months. It was very casual, but very, very good. Killer eggplant with homemade sauce.

On Saturday we went on one of our long road trips. I’ve been steadily working on my “counties project” this summer… trying to take a picture of me standing next to a sign for every county (62 of them) in New York State. So Saturday we got up early and drove down to Long Island and back, just to get pictures of the Nassau and Suffolk county signs. Then we took the scenic way back through the Hudson Valley, grabbing those counties as we went along. You can see the results of our labor at my roadgeek site.

We stopped in Albany for a bite to eat at Houlihan’s and then we decided to see “Kill Bill” at the movies. Quentin Tarentino has some pretty wild ideas when it comes to cinema, but he’s clever and the movie was definitely a welcome change of pace. We both really enjoyed it.

Today was football day, Earl enjoyed his Eagles game (even though they lost) while I worked on my roadgeek site. Tomorrow Earl is bringing home boxes so that we can start packing up the house… we received our commitment letter from the mortgage company in the mail on Friday, so it’s official. Can’t wait to find out what the closing date is! We’re both getting very excited, though the prospect of moving is very daunting. I’m really looking forward to the holidays in the new house.

My dad and his girlfriend stopped in on their way through the area today, they were a welcomed site. They were out for a leaf peeping tour of the Adirondacks and wanted to see the landscaping on the old house and they also wanted to drive by the new house. It was good to see them.

I think I’m going to be retiring one of my other hobbies for a while. We’ve decided that it probably wouldn’t be best to punch holes in the walls of the new house for my school clocks collection. I’ll probably set up a couple of my favorites in the basement once we build the four or five rooms were going to put down there, but that will probably be the extent of it. While I’ve enjoyed collecting all the clocks and such, I pretty much have everything I wanted, with many duplicates. I’m going to continue to have the clock website up for a while, since there are a lot of people asking questions about their operation and such, but I don’t see me stringing wire through the new house for bells and everything.

And lastly, Earl informed me that he’s bringing wine back to the supper table once we move. Ha! He’s just looking for a good time.

Antsy Pants.



I’ve discovered the worse part of buying a house. The waiting. The owners of the house have accepted our offer. We’ve filled out papers beyond belief with the mortgage company. The mortgage officer has told us that we have “stellar” credit ratings, and that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. We’ll have our commitment letter at the end of this week. So what to do. Wait. Wait. And wait some more.

I have absolutely forbad Earl from packing the house until we have the commitment letter in our hot little hands. I know the mortgage officer said that this was going to be a piece of cake, but gosh darn it, I’m not going to jinx this. I know that we are going to be celebrating the holidays in our new home. I know that the spacious rooms, jacuzzi tub for two, hardwood floors, and great room are all going to be ours. But can’t it happen already?



We decided to go see The School of Rock Saturday night in Syracuse. A quaint little flick, but it could have been a straight to DVD movie for us. We enjoyed the outing, I really enjoyed the popcorn.

My dreams have been very odd the last couple of nights. Saturday night I dreamed that I was hanging out with Ellen Degeneres. She was cool. I was telling her how much I enjoy her new show and everything. She asked my opinion and I let her know that she wouldn’t really care because this is my dream, but I told her anyways. Ellen has this “New Jersey Correspondent” named Lisa Lam on her new show. This lady is really Jersey. Joi-zee. While I’m sure she’s a lovely woman, she gets the benefit of a TiVo fast forward whenever she’s on because I find her disturbing and totally unnatural for television. I wouldn’t mind if she fast forwarded me sometime.

After the Ellen dream, I then switched to some whacked out ordeal of a dream where I was running with Lindsey Wagner bionic style. I don’t know where that came from, but I was very excited that the dream’s sound guy got it right with the bionic noise when I ran. I don’t know where I was running to or what I was running from, but I was doing it very quickly in slow motion.

I’ve become a little testy to those questioning my vegetarianism lately. A conversation today:

  • “You don’t eat any meat at all? Not even chicken or fish?”
  • “No, I don’t eat anything that shits.”
  • A guaranteed way to stop that line of conversation! Call me “Mr. Tact”.

If you’re keeping track, I weighed in at 177 lbs. today – I’ve lost 43 lbs. in 18 months. Move over Jared, there’s a new boy at Subway. I’ve complimented the slim look with a full beard – it’s that time of year.

And last, but not least, our cat Tom has lived with us for six years. We believe he’s between 9 and 10 years old. He’s finally figured out that he’s suppose to catch mice, not invite them over for lunch. He’s left four “offerings” in the computer room over the past week. We’re very proud of him.

I’m writing this blog entry locally on my comput…



I’m writing this blog entry locally on my computer, because I’m in the process of updating RedHat 9.0, and on a 56K modem, I can only do one thing at a time. Bummer.

Where to begin. A couple of weeks ago, Earl and I took a look at a house that was being built. To put it simply, we fell in love with the house. It was gorgeous and just what we were looking for. We made an offer to the builder. Unfortunately (for us, anyways), another couple made a higher offer and we didn’t get the house. However, the builder said that if we were interested in the spring, he would build us the same house on our property. (Earl and I own 33 acres).

Since we had been bit by the house buying bug, we talked about it and decided to put our house up for sale anyways. We figured that if by chance it did sell, we would simply move into an apartment until next summer when our house could be built. We figured it would take a while to sell the house, and to pass the time, we’d look at newer houses in the area that were for sale.

On Wednesday night, we listed the house with our real estate agent. The papers were signed, and the sign went up.

Friday morning, Earl received a call that we needed to scoot Friday night, two different parties were coming in to look at the house. We did just that by looking at a house that was only eight years old and in the general neighborhood. We then left for Philly on Saturday for a family wedding. We received word that one of the two couples was going to look at the house again Saturday afternoon.

Upon returning from Philly on Sunday, we had a message on our answering machine – they were coming back again to look at the house. As we were getting ready to leave, the real estate agent showed up and asked us to stay. We met with these house browsers and answered many questions.

Sunday night, they made an offer and we accepted it. On Monday, we looked at the house we had looked at on Friday, and decided to make an offer. The owners accepted.

So Earl and I are moving in the middle of November (after banks chat, lawyers chat, etc.) to our new house. To put it simply, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Huge! An above ground swimming pool. Oak hardwood floors throughout the house. Lots of space. Lots of potential. A cathedral ceiling in the family room. Just what we were looking for in a house.

It has been a busy time, to say the least. Am I sad that Earl and I are leaving the house we’ve lived in for the past six years. Admittedly, I am. This is where we’ve lived for the majority of our time together. But as we talked about it, I realized that this was a great place to start our relationship together. Earl and I are not handy when it comes to home repairs (by any stretch of the imagination), either that or we lack the motivation. In any case, there are tons of things we wanted to do to this house that we simply did not have the skill nor the money to do. The new house, while it does need some touch up paint and staining here and there, is pretty much what we are looking for. We are both very excited about the prospects.

I’m a little bit nervous about the whole affair, because everything is unsettled until the closing happens. I don’t like the uneasiness. Even back in my single (and somewhat transient) days, I always had to have the feeling of “home base”. I liked being able to say “This is where I live”, even if it was a rickety old mobile home in the path of a tornado. I wasn’t one that just popped in once in a while to take a shower or change my clothes between social engagements and work. I like to put down my roots. So this is a little unsettling for me, but I’ll get through it. Earl and I are both absolutely giddy with excitement about it.

I’ve often written in my blog about finding a place to make a “fresh start”, or to make changes in my life. I’m big on improving myself. Moving provides another opportunity for me to try to get my sh*t together. In the new house, we’ll have room for exercise equipment. We won’t really have room for my clock system hobby… not that it matters because while I’ve enjoyed putting the clock system together and getting it working, I’ve sort of dead-ended with the hobby. I have the clocks I want and they work. And we’ll have high speed internet through a cable modem! That alone is worth the trouble of moving! πŸ™‚

In other exciting news, my Palm Pilot went for an unintentional swim. It fell off the kitchen counter and into the cat’s water dish. Sigh. I never realized how much I depended on it until it wasn’t available. After drying out for 24 hours, it came back on. Unfortunately, it’s a little messed up. Thinking it was dead, we went out and bought a new one, this time a Sony Clie, which I adore. But then my old one started up again, but after trying to use it for a couple of days, I’ve discovered it’s a little flaky. It turns on and off on it’s own, and it thinks there’s an expansion card in it when there isn’t. I think I’m going to move to the Clie permanently on Monday, once I take it to work to Hot-Sync it so all of my information is in it. I’ll try writing a blog entry in it this week to see how it does!

Changes.



It’s been weird in the life of J.P. lately. There’s been a lot of changes going on, and I don’t know where to even begin.

Earl and I started the week last Monday by looking at a home that was still under construction. To put it simply, it was gorgeous. 2,500 square feet. Rural setting. Cathedral ceilings. A wonderful, “open-air” feel to it. We fell in love with it. So we decided to take a leap and made an offer on it, with absolutely no idea how we were going to finance it. We were outbid (and we ended up offering asking price!) by an eager couple, however, the builder offered to build us the same exact house on another lot that we own adjacent to our current home. We told him we’d talk to him in the spring.

So now we’ve got the new house bug going on around here. At the moment, I can’t elaborate on any more details, simply because I don’t believe in putting anything in my blog that I wouldn’t want to appear on the front page of the New York Times… this is a valuable thing I learned back in 1987 when I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation and a co-worker said some very not nice things (o.k., she was a bitch) about our mutual supervisor on a Usenet newsgroup. To do this day, you can still do a search on Google and come across it. It’s sort of frightening yet very intriguing, because I can do a search for some key phrases that I use to this day and come up with stuff I wrote back in 1987… kind of cool in a way, giving me a sense of immortality.

Anyways, if you’re still interested after that rambling, stay tuned as I’ll probably post more details later in the week.



Earl and I spent the weekend in suburban Philly with his family. We attended his niece’s wedding. First of all, I must say that the “Fab 5” from Queer Eye would approve of the outfits we donned ourselves in, as we were looking trendy, yet not over the top. Can we talk about how pretty we were? (I had to say that … ) Secondly, the wedding was absolutely beautiful and Karyn made a beautiful bride. Thirdly, while I knew that her new husband had a brother or two, I didn’t realize that he had an identical twin (including complimenting goatee) and I found it a little disconcerting to find him (the twin brother, not the groom, I think) making out with the maid of honor (o.k., just kidding – he was making out with the ushers – ha, ha, ha I’m kidding people, settle down.)

Anyways, at the reception I enjoyed my first martini, while Earl enjoyed his. We enjoyed martinis together. We like a very dry martini… Spanish Gin, Italian Vermouth and a Greek Olive. O.k., I stole that from the third episode of Bewitched. I have a little Endora in me. But the martini was indeed fabulous. I kept it at one though, because I was driving. Earl switched to Bahama Breezes or something equally fruity and then to more gin. Surprisingly, I didn’t pour him into bed last night, though we did make full use of the hotel room. That was indeed a change in attitude (the martini, not the sex), and I don’t find it unpleasant. Normally I don’t drink at all, well except maybe for some that Olive Garden swill they hock when they serve your radarange-heated entree, but other than that it’s Diet Pepsi (with a twist of lemon) for me. I don’t really care for Diet Pepsi Twist because it tastes like Lemon Pledge to me, though I’m not sure because I don’t think I’ve ever drank Lemon Pledge. I do enjoy Pepsi Twist, but not the diet version.

I did dance a little and apparently the martini kicked in at the end of the night when the DJ played Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell”, because I decided that I need to dance with my sister in law. I guess “dance” is the right word – I sort of hopped around like I was doing the mashed potato or something equally as foolish. It probably could be called the “homo hop”. I’m sure Ellen Degeneres has done something similar. I was told that I looked like I was hanging from a string by Earl’s wonderful Aunt Dot. I guess that’s good in a Pinnochio sort of way. We all want a woody! Oh, I’m tired, but I could go on. Not that you want me to.

The weekend.



It’s a Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody… Now we all know that’s pure horsepuckey! Earl and I are working on our computers late on a Saturday night – ah, the joys of married life! I’m kidding of course. After 7 1/2 years, I am delighted to say that we are blissfully happy.

Last night we went to the movies and saw “Secondhand Lions”. We both enjoyed it very, very much… one of our favorites this year. Definitely a DVD buy. Before the movie was a trailer for “Good Boy”, a kids movie about talking dogs from Sirius. Kind of cute, but I must say I found the talking poodle saying “Can we just talk about how pretty I am” in this wild voice most humorous. I can’t wait to yuck it up at work with the same line on Monday!

The remnants of Hurricane Isabel blew through Thursday night and all day Friday. Came home to a little bit of a surprise – a huge tree trunk in the middle of our lawn. Fun part? When it fell, it pulled the powerlines to the house down with it, ripping the line off the side of the house and depositing it in the front yard. I was glad to see that we still had power. The meter was lying face down in the shrubbery, but it was still ticking along. We didn’t go near the wires, but called Niagara Mohawk (our power company). They came today and restrung everything. Tomorrow Earl and I will be out there with a chainsaw cleaning up the mess.

Today we took a drive to Syracuse to get a few things at CompUSA. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the modem I needed for my computer. So I’m making do with my external modem, which explains why weather isn’t currently available on the site. I only have one serial port… and right now it’s dedicated to the modem.

Earl and I talked it over and decided that the DirecPC satellite connection really wasn’t worth the expense, so we ditched it. I’m back on dialup, which isn’t a real big deal since the speed was about the same anyway.

Since we’re not entertaining the satellite anymore, I was able to switch over to Linux full time here on my home desktop. Let’s see how this goes, especially during web page development! πŸ™‚

Catchin’ Up



My, my time has flown by since my last blog entry. I’ve been meaning to write in my blog but haven’t found the time to do so. I wish I could say that I’ve been very productive while being very busy, but that’s not the case. I’ve just been really good at filling time I guess.

I did a little research on “The Body Shop” products, and while they are labeled “Not tested on animals”, they are referring to the FINAL product. Before the brew is mixed together, involved “third parties” may doing some testing on animals, so there you are. The Body Shop – in the trash. So now I’m using Tom’s of Maine and Kiss My Face. Works pretty well. I’m a shaving cream connoisseur, what with a shaved head and all! I highly recommend “Kiss My Face”.

Earl and I have been groovin’ on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”. A fun daytime talk show again. Definitely TiVo worthy. As I’ve mentioned before, we were big fans of “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” back in it’s first couple of seasons, then we came back to watch her last season. The we tried the first season of Caroline Rhea – but, while Caroline had the best of intentions, it just didn’t feel right. I think there was too much Rosie influence on it or something… it seemed like Caroline was struggling against the format or something, I don’t know. She didn’t seem comfortable or confident. Ellen on the other hand seems to have everything under control right out of the gate! I hope that her show continues to be a success, Earl and I are definite fans.

Speaking of new television shows, what the hell is that Whoopi show suppose to be. The pilot episode was moderately amusing, but last night was just plain weak. I give it six weeks.

It’s hour-sister, Happy Family… same deal, I give it eight weeks.

I completely blew up Windows XP on my computer last weekend and re-installed it, hoping for better results before switching over to RedHat permanently. No such luck. It’s still sucking. As well as Direcway. As soon as I’m sure that we won’t be charged any cancellation fees for getting rid of the satellite, it’s out of here and Windows XP goes out with it. It’s not the I absolutely hate Windows XP, I just feel like the computer geek in me has progressed way beyond what Windows has to offer. I also feel like I’m sitting at work in my underwear – very vulnerable to bad things, what with Microsoft security flaws and such.

When I reinstalled Windows XP, I did install my old copy of Office 97. I believe that this older version of Office is more than capable to handle what I need to do. I was delightfully reminded of one of the features of Office 97 I absolutely loved…

… SCRIBBLE! I love Scribble! Unfortunately, she only appeared in Office 97, and you had to download her from the Office web site. I’m going to try to get her to work on my Linux workstation somehow… she’s quite cute, and can cheer up any cranky day.

Let’s Play Dress Up



There’s a cool, crisp feeling in the air. The winds are bringing about autumn, and quite honestly, I am absolutely thrilled. Fall is my favorite season. I always find the cool nights with a light wind to be so magical. Frankly, it seems a little early this year, since it’s only September 9th, but I couldn’t care less.

I’ve been on a “dress up” kick for work. Over the summer, we tend to get to get casual in our attire in my office. I usually have a button-down shirt and khaki shorts on. Come Labor Day though, I busted out the long sleeve dress shirts and nice pants and I donned a tie. I don’t know what so important about Labor Day that I feel I must dress up for the occasion, but it certainly has helped me find a little more confidence. I’m trying to lead by example at work, what with the business attire and increase in confidence. I hope that others will follow suit. Oh, that was witty. πŸ™‚ Work has been going along pretty well. It’s a busy time around the office with high school sports on the radio station. I’ve had a couple of special projects on the back burner that I’m getting around to. Everyone has been commenting that I’ve been mopey… but I haven’t felt mopey at all, just focused on the task at hand. I’m trying to be more professional in my demeanor. I mostly fail at that, but I like to think that I succeed once in a while.

I’m typing tonight blog entry on Earl’s iMac because I’m dinking around with my computer again. As I’ve mentioned before, we have high-speed (ahem) internet through the Direcway satellite system. Unfortunately, it seems to have left out the high speed part. I’m seriously thinking about going back to dial up this weekend, since quite frankly, Direcway doesn’t seem worth the $70 a month. Earl can’t connect to it with his iMac and it doesn’t work with Linux, and since my “technology pendulum” is STILL stuck in non-Microsoft mode, I think I’m going to dump the satellite high speed and Windows all together. Let’s see where I stand in a month.

Earl was away Sunday and Monday for the Eagles game in Philly. His brother has season passes and he invited Earl along for the season opener in the new stadium. He got back this afternoon and said he had quite a good time, even though Tampa spanked the Eagles.

Healthwise I’ve been feeling wonderful. I can say that I am still solidly vegetarian and enjoying every minute of it. While Earl was gone, I took the opportunity to throw out our toiletries that didn’t say “not tested on animals” on them. Bye bye Neutrogena shaving cream, hello “The Body Shop”. I know, Neutrogena shaving cream sounds really prissy, but I am extremely vain, and the stuff worked pretty well. Honestly, I like “The Body Shop” stuff better though. I’ll let you know how my complexion feels in a week.

I went on a little bit of spending spree last night and bought a new TiVo for the household. The old one has been slowing down a bit, plus, we’ve been having problems with our satellite connection and I thought it had to do with one of the receivers in the TiVo. Well, I hooked up the new TiVo and we still had the satellite problems, only faster. So tonight I did some rewiring and replaced connections and things seem to be working better. Let’s see how that goes.

My spiritual path has been taking some interesting turns lately. As I’ve mentioned before, I consider myself a “Gnostic Christian”… I fully believe in God and all that, I just reason these things out rather than just blindly follow what I’m told. For example, and you’ve probably heard this before, I don’t understand why Catholics think they can’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent, when before Catholics couldn’t eat meat on Friday any time of the year. If you ate meat on Friday, you went to hell. Well then they said that you could eat meat on Friday except during Lent. O.k., what about all the people that went to hell for eating meat on Friday before this “revelation”? Did they get a “Get Out of Hell Free Card”? Did the gatekeepers set up a “Fish Eaters Only Express Line” at the entrance to heaven? Of course not. People have to think and then believe.

The reason my spiritual path has been taking a few turns lately is because I’ve been thinking about spirituality more. I love Sylvia Browne. Or rather, I love her message. “Do good, love God and then go home.” It’s so simple. But it seems like she’s really turning the whole deal for a big buck lately. The woman comes out with four books a year at least. No one can write four books a year without a LOT of help. Either that or she’s ‘cut and pasting’ from one book to the next. And then she says that she can’t be “tuned in” to everyone, but she can tell a woman that wrote a letter to her office that she was a banished woman burned as a witch in Salem in the 17th century and that’s why she doesn’t want a fireplace in her house. What? Perhaps because I’ve never met Sylvia in person, or I’ve never experienced any of her gifts, I don’t really understand how it all works. I’m not doubting her abilities in the least. I think she has been endowed with many gifts and she really does teach a good lesson, she does a myriad of wonderful things in the world. But I can’t help but notice she charges a lot of money to do good. ($800 for a half hour? Whew!) And now she’s on this ghost kick. Let’s talk to the ghosts. Let’s see the haunted house. Wooooooo. Boo. Just tell the ghost to head home. Leave us alone, you’re dead, head towards the white light, everyone is waiting. Don’t make such a big deal of it.

Am I doubting my spirituality? Absolutely not. It’s stronger than ever. I just don’t have a price tag attached to it. Of course, I don’t say much about it out loud except with Earl. I think I freak them out at work… gay, vegetarian, Gnostic Christian, Linux user… sometimes they look at me like I just parked my UFO out on the roof and I’m pointing a ray gun at them. As I’ve mentioned before, people think that because I don’t blindly follow a particular religion I must be pagan. I must be a witch. I must not believe in God. And that hurts since that couldn’t be further from the truth. So now I just shut up about the whole affair and just try to keep a positive attitude.

Boy, I’m on the soapbox tonight! I’ll leave you with this little gem… I was recently being grilled about why I’m a vegetarian. I try not to talk about it during meals because I start to get preachy (a fault that I recognize), but my dining companions were pushing about why I don’t eat cheese. I replied that I don’t eat cheese because it’s animal derived and I don’t like how animals are treated in farms… besides, humans don’t need cow’s milk. We don’t see people sucking on a cat’s tit but we can drink cow’s milk? Why don’t you milk your poodle? Anyways, I was informed that the reason human drinks milk is because cows will be sick if we don’t milk them. Apparently, cows will EXPLODE if they’re not milked. So there you have it. Before these huge dairy farms, Earth was covered with exploding cows for millions of years.